Pirandello's Henry IV
Luigi Pirandello, Tom StoppardISBN: 0802141943;
In this meeting of two of the twentieth century's greatest playwrights, Tom Stoppard has reinvigorated Luigi Pirandello's masterpiece of madness and sanity. After a fall from his horse, an Italian aristocrat believes he is the obscure medieval German emperor Henry IV. After twenty years of living this royal illusion, his beloved appears with a noted psychiatrist to shock the madman back to sanity. Their efforts expose that for the past twelve years the nobleman has in fact been sane. Withhis mask of madness removed, the aristocrat launches an offensive to deflect their unwanted attention. While Pirandello's characters race linguistically about in Stoppardian dervishes, battling for the upper hand-and the greatest laughs-one question emerges: What constitutes sanity?
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